New RPOA Tenant Screening Service Up and Running
Just in case you haven’t heard, the RPOA has arranged a new screening service for members. In light of the increase in fraud during the rental application process, the RPOA has partnered with a new provider for tenant screening services. Starting yesterday, October 1, 2018, the RPOA will be utilizing the services of Grand Slam Investigations (GSI), a Michigan-based company, GSI will review all tenant screening reports pulled through the RPOA partnership for possible fraudulent activity and alert the property owner/manager if something is found.
Other Great News
Standard reports will also be less expensive. The RPOA has negotiated a special RPOA-only discounted rate for all reports. If you’ve been utilizing RPOA’s tenant screening reports, you’ll be pleased that the cost will be less. Also, the RPOA service will now include new more intensive criminal background search options or a standalone advanced criminal background/eviction report.
Want just a full credit report? You got it. Want just a criminal/eviction report? You can have that too. Want an intensive report that includes credit and advanced criminal background/eviction information? That’s also available. Clay Powell, Director of the RPOA, stated “we want our members to have choices. Some members only need the criminal background check while others want a more advanced and complete report.” All reports can be pulled from your own home or business offices—no more need to call, fax, email or come to the RPOA office to get your reports. You can even pull them from your phone.
4 Reports Now Available
Full Credit Report
Full Credit Report and National Criminal & Eviction Report*
Full Credit Report, National Criminal & Eviction Report and ICHAT** Search Results
National Criminal & Eviction Report and ICHAT Search Results
Things Will Be a Little Different
If you’ve been pulling full reports from your home or business office using the RPOA’s credit reporting services, you’ll still be able to do so at lower prices. To start off with, the office inspection will now only cost $70—and is a one-time occurrence—no more annual fee or inspection.
If you’ve been pulling decision reports through the RPOA office, you’ll need to consider one of the new options. Decision reports will not be available at this time but could become an option. Due to new pressures regarding privacy and fraud, credit reporting agencies no longer allow anyone to pull any report including a credit report or one based upon a credit report without having a home/business office inspection. (Decision reports were based upon the credit report.) Powell says that since all members utilizing tenant screening services involving a credit report are required to pass the in-home or business office inspection, there really isn’t a compelling reason to offer just a decision report or scoring type of report. All members using RPOA’s tenant screening services will now have access to the full credit report.
What if you don’t like the idea of having your home office inspected—even if it is just once and only $70? We’ve got a solution for that too. You can still pull the advanced criminal/eviction report, including the ICHAT search without going through the inspection process. You can then obtain the full credit report through RPOA’s other partner, ApplyConnect. ApplyConnect enables the landlord or property manager to obtain a full credit report from the applicant. The applicant pays for the report—not the owner/manager. The full report is delivered electronically from ApplyConnect—no paper reports that can be “doctored” by the applicant. Powell says, either way you choose, you’ll now have more and better information than you’ve had before. (The RPOA will revisit the decision reporting service if there is a demand.)
Another change will be that the RPOA will no longer bill members directly for reports. GSI will bill members directly at the special discounted rates for RPOA members.
The RPOA has always attempted to get reports to members within three hours of a request (except after hours, on weekends and holidays). GSI has committed to a two-hour window—making the turnaround time faster.
What if you don’t have a computer or an email address, etc.? We’re working on that too. The RPOA’s plan is to offer a computer terminal within the RPOA where members that don’t have a home computer can order reports. The RPOA staff will assist these members with setting up their account and pulling their own reports.
Change for the Better
Sometimes change can be frustrating or scary. However, with all the craziness around fraud during the application process, the RPOA is certain that the new screening services offered will be a better choice for landlords and property managers. Some time may be needed to adjust to the new service, but the RPOA believes everyone will be much happier in the end.
To sign up for the new service, go here. Don’t go directly to the GSI website and sign up—use the link provided after you log into the RPOA site. If you don’t, you will not get the special discounted pricing. To find out more about GSI, go here. To sign up for ApplyConnect, go here.
If you have questions, feel free to call the RPOA office at 616-454-3385. And, as always, after you’ve had a chance to use the new services, we’d love to get your feedback. Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The National Criminal & Eviction Report only includes those areas that report this data to the national credit bureaus.
** ICHAT includes the Michigan State Police criminal history background check and includes data not reported to other credit bureaus or tenant screening services.